Spring has sprung here in Minnesota. I spent part of the weekend planting the garden, including some of the herbs I will be turning into medicine for NGTHerbals. Already, there was a bumper crop of nettles and dandelions available, so plucked some of them for a new round of tinctures. I have a handful of other wild patches that hopefully will soon be abundantly green, including the Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium).
Among Yarrow's numerous common names throughout history are staunchgrass and bloodwort, which point to it's ability to address cuts and wounds. I have personally experienced Yarrow's wound sealing ability on finger cuts from other plants while gardening. A handful of mashed leaves on the wound, and a few minutes tends to end the bleeding and start the healing process, as well as help prevent infections. Herbalist Lisa Zahn however notes that "If you have a dirty wound, however, like a sidewalk scrape or wood sliver, the herb you want is not yarrow but plantain. Yarrow will bind up a wound too quickly and will leave the sliver or infectious dirt, etc. in there."
Yarrow is well known as a support for the female reproductive system. Not only is it hormone balancing, but it also slows excess menstrual bleeding.
This somewhat bitter herb also aids digestion, and is antibacteria and anti-inflammatory. It's frequently used during cold and flu season, addressing a variety of symptoms from oncoming sore throats to fevers. I sometimes mix Yarrow with Elderberry or Peppermint to balance the flavor, and enhance the cold deterrent properties. Given it's circulatory qualities, it also can be blended with Cayenne to encourage movement of the blood and other fluids, and address cold and flu symptoms.
You can learn more about Yarrow in this blog post from one of our local powerhouse herbalists, Matthew Wood.
We currently have tinctures of Yarrow available at the NGTHerbals store, and are patiently waiting for this year's crop to come in.